Friday, October 16, 2009

Boys and Balloons

Hello, readers.

For a brief period this afternoon, most of the twenty four hour news networks displayed footage of, purportedly, a six-year old boy trapped, or perhaps very purposely flying away, in his father's UFO shaped hot air balloon. It also took over Twitter. It reminded me of Flight of the Navigator. It reminded someone else I know of The Little Prince. That someone else garned six awesome points for this.

It happens that the balloon landed and the boy was nowhere to be found, which would lead one to believe, most likely, that he never got on. Perhaps. Some people believe it was a hoax, possibly involving the boy being part of a family featured on Wife Swap. Hopefully, wherever he is, he is safe and sound and, if at all possible, will have adventured many adventures worthy of illustration or 80s nostalgia.

Here are things of interest, and slightly less hot air.

The National Book Awards were announced. Fiction finalists include Colum McCann, Daniyal Mueenuddin, Marcel Theroux, Bonnie Jo Campbell, and Jayne Anne Phillips.

Kansas City Star interviews Michael Chabon about Manhood for Amateurs.

Mythmakers and Lawbreakers: Anarchist Writers on Fiction collects variously magnelephant writers like Alan Moore, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Michael Moorcock to discuss politics and fiction. "Basically, anarchy is in fact the only political position that is actually possible," says Alan Moore in his interview.

Charles Stross does not like Star Trek. He doesn't like that, as Ron Moore has pointed out, for the most part, the technology of warp drives, dylithium crystals, and hilariously malfunctioning transfomers, was beside the point. Apparently many scripts simply inserted the word "tech" as a noun, adjective, and/or verb (much like another four letter word) and waited for the science consultants to replace it with something appropriate. This doesn't bother me, though. Star Trek, like Star Wars, are essentially fantasy stories--speaking generically, that is. Same as Dune or Muppet Babies. Speaking sensically, of course, every story is a fantasy*.

Especially the ones with balloons.

Happy Thursday, readers.


*Yes, yes, I know. In Star Trek, Roddenberry had an idea of the future, of utopia, and the ideas of anti-matter and so forth are all, in some sense, possible, whereas, so far as we know, no matter how much we believe we can, we'll probably not be able to lift an X-Wing with the power of our mind. Except, of course, there is this.

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